The central feature of this research focuses on the sensitive stage of trainee assessment made by the mentor on the third and fourth teaching practice observation at the end of stage one of the full-time pre-service PGCE/Cert Ed Initial Teacher Training programmes, which incorporate the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS). Wenger’s (2003) ‘social learning’ theory and his notion of community of practice have been used with other concepts as lenses in an analysis of practice. Particular attention is paid to the temporal developmental stages of the trainee in relation to the sequencing of the observations and the effects of the ‘positioning’ (Burr, 2010: pp. 111 - 14) of mentors. This analysis reviews three cases and specifically explores the mentor’s perspective from retrospective reflections encompassing their feelings and decisions, highlighting tensions caused by the need to balance the ‘twin roles as enabler and assessor’ of their mentee’s teaching practice (Claxton et al, 1996: p. 244).
How to Cite
Lambert-Heggs, W., (2011) “The ‘F’ word: conflicts and tensions in a community of practice when mentors confront the possibility of failing a trainee in teaching observations”, Teaching in Lifelong Learning 3(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/till.2011.3129